Press release: GRCC student receives scholarship for work-study program in Germany


Kathy Mullins
Executive Deputy to the President and Board Liaison

April 12, 2013 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids Community College student has received a competitive scholarship that will allow her to work and study in Germany this summer.

Sarah Ross began studying German this year, and has attended GRCC since 2009. She was awarded a Work Immersion Study Program Scholarship from the nonprofit Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, one of the largest foundations in Germany. Fewer than 10 students from any college or university are chosen to go, and even fewer of those students are from community colleges.

Ms. Ross has her Welding Technology Degree from GRCC and is pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Tooling and Manufacturing – and is now specializing in welding and machining in GRCC’s Manufacturing Department.  She will take a month of German language classes and will work for a manufacturing company while in Germany. The scholarship will cover her round-trip flight and housing expenses as well as provide her with a monthly stipend.

She said she took German language classes for fun but now hopes to work for an American-German manufacturing company. “Stepping out of your comfort zone and making wise spontaneous changes during life can lead to opportunities you never thought possible!” she said.

“This opportunity will benefit me in many ways: I will get to work in Germany in my field of study; I will get to take more German language courses, and I will get to experience the German culture first hand!”

“The WISP Work Immersion Study Program has been around for many years but only very recently was opened to community college students,” said Associate Professor Aleta Anderson, chairwoman of GRCC’s Department of Language and Thought. “The fact that this is a national award, and that out of all the applicants from across the nation, Sarah is one of the few — if not the only — community college student to receive this award, is outstanding. Her hard work and diligence throughout the application process paid off, and should be an inspiration to other community college students that they too can be the recipients of such rewards.”

 Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.